The internet is awesome- on it you can connect with people all over the world, learn about garden eels, share pictures with far-away family members, and so much more. You can even buy your own confessional! Really! I heard about it months ago and had to check it out myself. I actually found a few. Here is a source for purchasing new custom built confessionals online.
Now, the confessionals I found for sale online a few months ago (but had trouble finding again today) were not the kind they have around here-- small rooms in the church where they set up a chair for the priest, another one as an option for the penitent, a kneeler as the other option, and a portable screen. Instead they were the old fashioned kind- taken from old churches and made of deep rich wood with a tiny space for the priest to sit on one side and another little space for the penitent who only had room to drop to his knees in contrition on the other side. In between was a thick immovable screen.
Nevertheless, as I thought about having a confessional somewhere in my house where I could go and be alone- peaceful and contemplative- I really wanted one.
I thought about escaping to my confessional when my patience was wearing thin, when I was over stimulated and overwhelmed by the noise and the demands and the chaos around me. I thought about stepping through the door and dropping to my knees and I could almost feel the peace and serenity that little place could offer in the midst of my not-so-serene life of raising/home schooling five children.
I thought about all those walls would have seen- the humility, the contrition, the sorrow of soul for sins that should never have been committed, the tears, and the pain that sometimes accompany a genuine, heartfelt confession. And then.... the joy, the beauty, the peace that come with absolution, the incredible gratitude and humility that flood one’s soul after being cleansed and forgiven and made new. I could not help but wonder- how many miracles have taken place in those old confessionals? How many people have come back to God and reconciled their relationships with Him right there in that place? How many people really did kneel there and pour out their souls only to be lovingly forgiven and welcomed anew into God’s outstretched arms?
Yes, I wanted my own confessional, even if I did not have a place to put it or the money to actually purchase it or nearly as much time to spend there as I imagined.
I shared this impractical desire with my family. I showed them pictures on the computer of the confessionals available at the time. It was quite a while later, that my son presented to me my very own confessional. He had built it himself out of Lego’s and his version did come with a priest at the ready, and a penitent, on his knees in the very act of confessing as well. I cannot enter my confessional in moments of stress or worry but I keep it in my room. It is on my dresser where I see it every day and am reminded of the beauty of our Catholic faith and the amazing gift of peace that comes when I go before God and admit my sins to be given the gift of forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.